Dine while watching

A macro beer and pub grub from Brewhouse Tavern.

A macro beer and pub grub from Brewhouse Tavern.

Photo By Dana NÖllsch

Brewhouse Tavern is open 24 hours.

Brewhouse Tavern

8030 S. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89511

(775) 852-8100

My husband wanted to try this place, but he might have been snowed by the name “Brewhouse,” which evoked a thrilling image of a microbrewery. Sadly, it’s not so. It turns out that the Brewhouse Tavern does not actually “brew” in the “house” whatsoever. It was not even clear that our otherwise accommodating server even knew what the term “microbrew” meant when we broached the subject. After this initial disappointment, we recovered our poise, ordered the usual bottled beers and forged on.

Here’s what Brewhouse Tavern really is: a local sports bar with average pub food. In this regard, it does have a homey charm that makes up for lacking a homemade double bock or Oktoberfest special. If you’ve got an atavistic hankering to gorge on a gut-bomb of greasy spoon pub grub, drink a couple of cheap domestics, and watch some ball, you could do a lot worse.

The interior is a truncated version of some of the larger chain sports bar and grills, where there’s the oval surround bar wherein the patrons can view each other and the multiple TV screens. The advantage is smaller size and more intimacy. Aside from the bar, there’re only a couple of tables, so you don’t have the crowds, noise concentration, or chaos you might get at one of the chains.

This was cool: The cook happened to be at the bar right as we were contemplating dinner and was quick to explain the menu’s—I love the word—options. So often when you go to a chain sports bar you can’t tweak certain selections because it all goes into a computerized ordering system. Our guy operated by the quaint premise that you find out what the customer wants and then do that.

Our food came quickly and without superfluous ceremony. We split a burrito ($6) and an order of nachos ($5). Filling? Yes. Cheap? Yes. Great? No—but of course not! Though thoughtfully prepared and served, the beans, chips and guacamole tasted processed, and the lettuce and tomatoes less than fresh. But again, consider where we were and what we were doing: Culinary minutiae were subordinate to the overall dining viewing and cultural milieu.

Still, if “dining while watching” is what you want, the Brewhouse does have a few options. The menu offers appetizers (most of them breaded), salads (such as the taco salad, $6.25), burgers ($7), sandwiches (tavern cheesesteak, $6.75) and pizza (7-inch cheese, $5 and $1 per topping). As far as drinks go, you can get anything you want, according to our server … except a microbrew, that is.

To be perfectly honest, if you want microbrew, fancy fish-and-chips, or 200 fellow patrons vindicating your choice of sports bar, the Brewhouse Tavern might not be for you. But it’s fine if you just want fine service and filling bar food on the cheap while watching some sports. Sometimes that’s all a body needs.